Maintenace day in Batu Pahat

(written by Dave)

We planned to clean the bikes really good today so we got to sleep in and work our way out to a leisurely brekkie.  We both got a little excited when we saw a western breakfast on offer and quickly placed our order.  I’ve included a photo below but suffice it to say my advice going forward would be “don’t order western brekkie in Asia”.  Breakfast include a fried egg (good), wonder-bread toast (ok), funky green sugared drink, cold canned beans (bad), lukewarm chicken sausage (bad – cold hot dogs really), under cooked and cold french fries/chips and finally some assorted salad/lettuce.  The meal was only rescued by the tube of Vegemite I had in the room.  Tomorrow, we’ll stick with Malay style brekkie.

Cleaning the bikes went well.  At least for now, I think we’ve stemmed the tide on chain rust.  We’ll see…

After brekkie, we also took out laundry to the front desk.  Everyone here laughs at you if you tell them that you want to find a laundromat.  It seems that no one does their own laundry, much less travelling westerners.  We got all of ours done, express one-day, for $4 AUD – hard to argue with not doing laundry.

It seems that yesterday, Monday, may have been a holiday here.  The neighbourhood shops that looked closed for good all came to life today.  For lunch we wandered across the street to a place which seemed to be feeding nearly every shop worker.  The older Malay/Chinese couple running the joint didn’t speak much English but we managed to mime two orders of Nasi Rebus – and it was fantastic.  Not only that but we know have another dish we can order.  That and the Nasi Lemak from last night are both on the re-try list.

After lunch we walked to a bike shop (Basikal kedai) noted by the hotel clerk.  Quite funny actually, they sold bikes and stove range tops.  Not surprisingly, they did not have a tire gauge I was looking for.  The language barrier didn’t help but I could only see schrader valve tires anyway so if they had a gauge, it would have been schrader for sure.

While out looking for the bike shop, we discovered a street vendor making and selling pancake like roti.  He was making them on a giant iron grill about as fast as he possible could.  He had a steady queue of locals who didn’t even seem to order – they didn’t need to, he knew just how many to make for each person.  We tried to order one but the vendor insisted that we try one first.  We did and it was quite tasty, sort of like peanut butter toast – we placed our order and had a wonderful afternoon tea of peanut butter something – maybe one our local readers will know what it’s called from the photo.

We stopped at a grocery store on the way back to the hotel and stumbled into the “non-halal” corner.  It was here that we found beer and many different forms of canned pork.  It’s pretty clear that our Aussie egg and bacon roll quest is going to have to be put on hold at least until we get to Thailand.  I can’t imagine eating canned bacon, much less trying to purchase it from the nice clerk wearing her headscarf.

We hung out all afternoon working on plans for the route ahead.  We are moving onto Muar tomorrow for two days, then onto Melaka for 4 or 5 days.  Melaka is a historical Portuguese/Dutch settlement and there is lots to see and do around the area.  We’ve found a guest house in Melaka that receive 59 out of 60 “excellent” reviews in Tripadvisor (the on-line review site).  There all sorts of reviews from people who book for a few days and stay weeks.  They did not have a room until Friday so we’ll spend an extra day in Muar.  Turns out that Singapore national day is 9/August and lots of folks come up for the long weekend.  Singapore was part of Malaysia for until 1965 so there as still very close ties.  Many hotels didn’t have rooms.  I hope the guest house is a nice as it sounds.  I spoke with the owner (a nice Frenchman) and he sounded very accommodating.

We ride along the Strait of Melaka tomorrow – should be an interesting ride.

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7 thoughts on “Maintenace day in Batu Pahat

  1. I am really getting an education! Thanks for doing all the research so Pete and I can choose where we will tour in retirement! Keep the pics and blog coming…

  2. I responded to the tree pic instead of the overall post, by accident. Oh well, you’ll find it if you’re meant to!

    Cheers
    Rose

  3. The Nasi Rebus you had, was it rice or noodle based? I asked because what is always served is Mee Rebus. In case you did not know, Mee=noodles, Nasi=rice.

    As for the pancake, I probably will know if you took a picture of the dish. Since it is sold by the Chinese, I suspect it could be “me chiam kuay”, trying to spell as phonetically as possible. Filling is usually crushed peanut or red bean paste.

    • Thanks Michael, we should have written Mee Rebus – as you’ve noted. We didn’t get a photo of the finished product but it looked like an ordinary roti, cut up in 8-10 pieces.

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